Ah, coffee. It’s just about the only thing that’s good about a Monday morning … or really any morning. We all know that the West Coast cities Portland and Seattle and San Francisco are headliners in our nation’s coffee culture, but there are other coffee hot spots around the country that might surprise you.
To find them, Livability looked at the number of coffee shops in the city, average prices for a cup of joe, the number of roasters in the area and, of course, the overall quality of life (Livability has to be true to its name, right?) to bring you this list of unexpected cities with awesome coffee scenes.
The “other” Portland is becoming quite a hot spot for caffeinated beverages. Known for its awesome restaurants, a growing need for quality coffee has prompted several indie coffee joints to join the local food scene. And the price is right, with the average cappuccino in Portland, Maine, only setting you back $3.60. Folks are doing coffee a little differently here, and the Speckled Ax in the Arts District uses the unique process of wood roasting its organic beans for exceptional flavor profiles. Yordprom Coffee Co. is your go-to place for some really good Vietnamese coffee or Thai ice tea in a cozy environment.
Foodies, take note: Portland, Maine, boasts more restaurants per capita than any other city in the country. Along with its safe neighborhoods, year-round recreation and sweeping ocean views, Portland is a family-friendly city and is rated a top place to live.
Coolest coffee shop: Tandem Coffee gets the cool points as one of the first in-house roasters to open up shop in 2012. It has served up fantastic, no-frills, artisanal coffee ever since.
Coffee milk is Rhode Island’s state drink, so it’s no wonder that the capital city is considered one of America’s best coffee cities. According to Travel + Leisure, Rhode Island ranked as the state with the best baked goods, and what goes better with a perfect pastry than amazing coffee? The city’s large artist population and university students means the city has a high percentage of coffee connoisseurs streaming to local favorites like the Shop for its familiar vibe and the Coffee Exchange for its beans roasted in small batches.
With nearby beaches and a wealth of history as one of America’s oldest cities, Providence is recognized for a great deal more than java. It’s a city with an under-the-radar arts scene that shouldn’t be missed. Every summer, the WaterFire installation lights up the rivers with bonfires and public art displays, and the Rhode Island School of Design’s noteworthy museum is a gem for art admirers.
Coolest coffee shop: Dave’s Coffee gets our nod as the coolest, thanks to its relaxed atmosphere and homage to the sweet coffee milk drink that every Rhode Islander grew up drinking. Plus, Dave’s sells its coffee syrups so you can make your favorite drinks at home.
Jersey City, N.J.
As one of the Livability Top 10 Cities for Recent College Grads, it makes sense that Jersey City is also carving out a reputation as a great coffee city (as young professionals, of course, need their caffeine). Located right across the Hudson from New York City, Jersey City ranked No. 25 on Wallethub’s list of 100 best coffee cities, just behind Boise. Two local favorites are Modcup Coffee Co., which serves up its own single-origin roasted beans, and Dames Coffee Espresso Bar, known for its latte art and garden out back.
Even though it’s so close to New York, Jersey City is affordable. In fact, those who recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree only shell out 22% of their income for rent here. Downtown Jersey City’s charm rivals some New York neighborhoods with its abundance of bars and restaurants.
Coolest coffee shop: The hip Lackawanna Coffee pours delicious specialty drinks like the Black Sesame Latte or the Wildflower Honey Latte.
Another one of Wallethub’s best U.S. coffee cities, Cincinnati is home to several high-quality coffee roasters and tea producers. In fact, Ohio as a whole is in the midst of a craft coffee boom. Home to thousands of university students in need of their caffeine quotient, Cincinnati’s plethora of indie coffee shops deliver. Some high notes: Smooth Cincy Coffee cools coffee lovers down on hot days with a nitrogen-infused cold brew, and Coffee Emporium is the city’s oldest operating coffeehouse.
Cincy received the highest ranking in the infrastructure category of Livability’s Top 100 Best Places to Live in 2019 list thanks to its top-notch bus system and Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar, as well as its easy access to other major cities. Residents here enjoy sporting events, a great food scene and plentiful job opportunities — all at a price point that earned the city a spot on Livability’s 10 Best Affordable Cities list.
And we can’t forget to mention it’s home to the delicious Graeter’s Ice Cream, a sweet staple since 1868.
Coolest coffee shop: Our favorite has to be Collective Espresso, a small, hip local coffee chain that focuses on made-to-order coffee in its purest form. You won’t find any syrups or fancy drinks here, but you will find amazing coffee.
People associate Idaho with potatoes, but residents of Boise deserve credit as true coffee fanatics. There are more than 150 coffee shops scattered across Boise catering to the half a dozen universities, and WalletHub recognized Boise as one of the most affordable coffee scenes in the country. Many of the shops are local and feature specialty brews or even roast their own beans. The District Coffee House uses locally roasted beans, and its Nutella latte (yes, it uses real Nutella) is a fan favorite. Meanwhile, Slow by Slow totally nails the third-wave coffee scene with its focus on process and craft.
Boise topped Livability’s 2019 list of the Top 100 Best Cities to Live, and it’s easy to see why. This city has it all: from theater and football to incredible natural amenities like a 25-mile-long Greenbelt path by the river, golf courses and easy access to white-water rafting. It’s also one of the safest cities in the world, so you can rest easy at night.
Coolest coffee shop: Caffeina Roasting Co.’s brewery digs and industrial vibe earn major cool points. It also brews its own kombucha and makes a brew-on-brew: an espresso poured into a local stout, which is a win in our books.
California’s capital city doesn’t get nearly as much attention as S.F. or L.A., but a vibrant coffee scene has been brewing under the radar here for a while now, and the rest of the nation has started to take notice. Sprudge recently named Sacramento one of five underrated coffee cities in America, and we wholeheartedly agree. A relatively low number of large chains means Sacramento is one of the top metro areas in the nation with the most indie coffee shops per capita. Delicious coffee flows here at artisan shops like Insight Coffee Roasters, Old Soul Co. and the New Zealand–influenced Chocolate Fish Coffee.
This isn’t just a well-caffeinated city; it’s a fun one. Sacramento is home to Coin Op, one of the coolest arcade bars in the country, plus a full calendar of community events to keep residents entertained. And for those who want to live in California but can’t afford the typically steep price tag, Sacramento is an affordable choice. With easy access to San Francisco and the beautiful California coast, the location can’t be beat.
Coolest coffee shop: Award-winning Temple Coffee is our pick for the city’s coolest shop, as its vibe is low-key. It’s modeled after temples owner Sean Kohmescher visited during his travels through Indonesia.
Reno has made a name for itself recently in America’s coffee scene, and landed a spot on SmartAsset’s coffee fanatics survey thanks to its low average cappuccino price of $3.67. Residents in this desert city can’t seem to get enough of their morning brew, and they have plenty of options thanks to 314 coffee shops in the area. The “Biggest Little City in the World” has a coffee scene that’s anything but little and has made way for several notable local brew shops including Lighthouse Coffee, Magpie and Old World Coffee Lab.
Reno’s lively night life scene pairs perfectly with its abundance of coffee shops. This fun city also ranked on the Livability 2018 list of Top 100 Best Places to Live thanks to its seemingly endless amenities like concerts, events, casinos and plenty of outdoor activities. Job opportunities are flowing here, too, as more digital and tech companies are calling the city home.
Coolest coffee shop: Hub Coffee Roasters, with its several locations and roasting facility, paved the way for Reno’s love of local beans. Once a tiny automotive garage, this coffee empire now provides its delicious bean varieties to a number of cafes in town.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
The University of Michigan’s 44,000 students play a big part in propelling Ann Arbor into the upper echelon of coffee cities. ApartmentGuide put Ann Arbor on its list of the 10 best cities for coffee lovers thanks to the city’s impressive ratio of one coffee shop per 2,825 residents. There’s a coffee shop here for literally everyone’s taste, whether it’s a national chain or a hip shop using locally roasted beans like Black Diesel Coffee. Aspiring roasters and baristas can immerse themselves in Zingerman’s Coffee Co.’s seven different brewing techniques and attend one of its monthly coffee “cuppings.”
Ann Arbor isn’t just a great place to drink coffee; it’s a great place to live. In fact, it ranked No. 1 on Livability’s 2018 list of Top 100 Best Places to Live list. Residents of Ann Arbor enjoy high-quality education offerings and a creative culture where there’s always something going on. The city is also extremely walkable and is one of the best places in America to raise a family.
Coolest coffee shop: Literati, a perfect combination of coffee shop and bookstore, tops the list for coolest in Ann Arbor. Author readings and book clubs grace the space most nights, and what’s better than good coffee and a book? While you’re there, you can stop by the bookstore’s beloved public typewriter and write a love note to caffeine.
As one of America’s booziest cities, it makes sense that Spokane would land on this list with its high number of hangover-mending coffee shops. Spokane boasts a whopping 319 coffee shops, equaling about 148 shops per 100,000 residents. And caffeinating here won’t break the bank, either: SmartAsset reported that an average cappuccino in Spokane will cost you just $3.69. Even National Geographic gave a nod to Spokane as being one of the top coffee cities in the nation, stating that Washington’s being the home state of Starbucks might have something to do with it. Some notable shops here include Atticus Coffee & Gifts, which has a “To Kill a Mockingbird” theme, and Paper and Cup, an Instagrammer’s paradise featuring incredible baked goods.
Besides being a coffee lover’s (and booze lover’s) city, Spokane was named one of Livability’s Top 100 Best Places to Live this year, thanks in part to its easy access to the great outdoors. It’s known for its legendary mountain biking and 125 parks and golf courses, and there’s a legit waterfall downtown. Plus, it’s one of the best U.S. cities for book lovers, so it’s easy to find a good book to read while sipping your craft coffee.
Coolest coffee shop: Spaceman Coffee, a David Bowie–themed dive coffee shop with housemade syrups.
A sunny city in Florida might not be your first thought for this list, but this under-the-radar coffee city boasts several coffee roasters, including Zeal, Made Coffee Co. (which is also home to Florida’s first canned cold brew), Blind Tiger and Commune + Co. In a recent WalletHub survey, Tampa ranked No. 22 among the best U.S. coffee cities. The study looked at factors like the number of coffee drinkers in the city, the cost of a cappuccino and the number of local roasters.
People are flocking to Tampa, and it’s not just for its coffee. The city currently ranks fourth in the country for job growth, thanks to new businesses opening up shop in the area, while the cost of living still sits below the national average.
Coolest coffee shop: We have to give it to Union Bar by Commune + Co., a shop that really puts time and energy into its roasting process. It offers a cold coffee pressure brew using infused nitrogen that gives you all the flavor of a cold brew without any bitterness.
Read the original article on Livability.